When members of our Raptor Program first imagined birds flying free in the auditorium, they recognized a need to protect birds from the open space in the ceiling. They approached Maintenance Coordinator Jonathan Boettcher and the Ray Team volunteers. Within months the group designed and built a structure that both matches the building design and keeps the birds safe. Since then, untold viewers have been awed by indoor flight shows.
How the Ray Team Started
The Ray Team was started in the early 1980’s, and is named after beloved long-time volunteer Ray Jensen, who owned a construction company. Ray Team started as a group of people who volunteered to help with maintenance and large-scale projects.
Center staff cultivate an environment where every Ray Team member is valued. Everyone has unique preferences that are always respected. Many members enjoy working alongside fellow team members, while others prefer to work on individual projects. But everyone enjoys the camaraderie of coffee and donuts on Tuesday morning before getting to work.
The Volunteers of Ray Team
Just like our diverse outdoor habitat, participating in Ray Team offers a wide range of challenges and experiences. One day members might work on finish carpentry projects or plumbing issues. Other days they might paint siding or fix a faulty door hinge. For these volunteers, their common thread is curiosity and the desire to make a difference.
You may not recognize the men and women of Ray Team, but they’re responsible for the work behind some of the Center’s most memorable family activities. In springtime members clean and prep the sugar shack stove for Maple Sugar season. They assemble and maintain the wonderful trail benches and wooden rocking chairs on the veranda.
Volunteer with the Ray Team
Ray Team has a long and rich history, and we’re seeking new volunteers to help craft the unique experience Schlitz Audubon offers members, guests, and students. No matter your background – the trades, education, sales, the arts – your skills are welcome additions to Ray Team. Ray Team members take pride in hiking around with their families, and pointing out the various projects they help build and maintain at Schlitz Audubon. Learn more about volunteering with Ray Team and fill out a Volunteer Application.